Monsieur Matisse, la perruche et la sirène

Discover the story behind the creation of Henri Matisse's famous cutout work The Mermaid and The Parakeet !
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Henri Matisse. The Red Studio


It's the story of an old man confined to bed by illness. But it's not just anyone: it's Matisse, the great painter of colour. All this white around him, what sadness! First he tried to paint his sheets - too soft! Then he used a fishing rod to paint the walls of his hospital room. Too heavy! Too far away! Then he had a stroke of genius: he replaced his paintbrush with scissors and cut out shapes from paper coloured with gouache.

He tells his assistant how to pin them on the wall... He had just invented the cut-paper technique. The walls of his bedroom were the canvas for his painting. And he's happy: he's sculpting colour! Just as he has always sought! In his snail's wheelchair, Monsieur Matisse strolled through the garden he had created, between a parakeet and a mermaid, born of a mischievous draught...

Description & Features


French language

Annemarie Van Haeringen & Gabrielle Bourlionne
23.8 × 28.8 cm
Publication year
Number of pages

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